The wolf was 170 yards away when it was shot
I think this is pretty serious. It goes to show the lack of an adequate regulatory framework on behalf of the State of Idaho. The wolf was 170 yards away when the guy shot it. If they can’t prosecute a case like this then they can’t prosecute any case of illegal wolf killing. Idaho is not upholding their responsibility to enforce laws protecting wolves.
The article is vague about the circumstances of the incident but one is left to wonder what the “valid” defense is.
Recall the incident in 2008 when there were “No Charges Filed in Wolf Killing Near Ashton, Idaho”
Here are the factors in the ESA which are considered when a species becomes listed as endangered or threatened:
DETERMINATION OF ENDANGERED SPECIES AND THREATENED SPECIES
SEC. 4. (a) GENERAL.—(1) The Secretary shall by regulation promulgated in accordance
with subsection (b) determine whether any species is an endangered species
or a threatened species because of any of the following factors:
(A) the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of
its habitat or range;
(B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational
(C) disease or predation;
(D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
(E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.
Charges dropped against N. Idaho man who shot wolf
The common perception amongst most people, and apparently prosecutors, is that the present law in Idaho allows people to kill a wolf if it is causing them to worry. Well, the Attorney General’s definition of “worry” is a little more specific than that. Is the confusion intentional and was this language used specifically to make it harder to prosecute the illegal killing of wolves?
It’s now obvious that any definition of “worry” will suffice to allow someone to kill a wolf.
This is an email that was sent to all IDFG employees in 2008 explaining what the term “worry” meant in the context of Senate Bill 1374.
From: Strack, Steve [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 4:21 PM
Subject: Senate Bill 1371- meaning of “worry”
Cal, as we discussed earlier today, the term “worry” has a definite and narrow meaning as applied to predators. The American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed.), defines worry to mean: “to pull or tear at something with or as if with the teeth.”
Here’s the definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
Worry: 2 a: to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat b: to shake or pull at with the teeth (a terrier worrying a rat). Link: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worry
I would assert that the Legislature, in adopting Senate Bill 1374, intended to use the term “worry” as defined above.
The term “worry” was used in Senate Bill 1374 to describe the actions of a wolf that would constitute molestation. It was not intended to describe the effects of the wolf’s action on livestock. Therefore, the other common usage of “worry,” to “feel uneasy or concerned,” would be nonsensical. Courts will avoid nonsensical interpretations of statutes.
Steven W. Strack
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0010
Phone: (208) 334-4143
Fax: (208) 854-8072